After some initial rumours late last year, we have heard very little since about the future for the Oculus Rift. That changed today with the announcement of the Oculus Rift S, a sequel headset that makes a few design changes to the Rift and bumps up its spec for a higher-end experience.
Today at GDC, the Oculus Rift S was announced, bringing some benefits over the original Rift. This includes a higher resolution display, front facing cameras, room-scale tracking out of the box and a few other less obvious improvements. While the original Oculus Rift was designed in-house, this time around, the team has teamed up with Lenovo to get this headset up and running.
The Rift S will feature a higher resolution display. Specific numbers weren't mentioned in the official Oculus announcement but The Verge reports that the new display packs a 1280×1440 per eye resolution. This doesn't quite match the VIVE Pro, or come close to the recently announced HP Reverb. However, it is also coming in at a lower $399 price point.
Just like the original Rift, the S will be tethered to your PC and powered by it. However, the Rift S does borrow from the upcoming Oculus Quest in other areas. For instance, the Rift S also uses inside-out tracking, so all of the required sensors are built right into the headset. The Rift S also ships with the same redesigned Touch controllers.
The Rift S also has some comfort improvements too, with the mounting mechanism changing from Velcro head-straps to a PSVR-esque solution. We don't have specific details on field of view or lenses yet, so we don't know if the Rift S does away with god rays, or strives for increased immersion.
Currently, the Rift S is planned to launch in ‘Spring 2019' for $399. With that in mind, we should expect to see it hit shelves at a similar time to the Oculus Quest, at a similar price point.
KitGuru Says: I've had an Oculus Rift since launch and while I really enjoy using it, screen resolution has always bothered me. Unfortunately, the Rift S doesn't seem to be much of an upgrade in that area, although it would be nice to be able to ditch my sensors and free up some USB ports. Are any of you thinking about picking up a VR headset this year? Will you be swayed by the Rift S?